feed for fish and fish as food
Oily fish gives better heart health
A study carried out in China has found that women who are prone to cardiovascular disease shows a reduction of more than 20% in a known risk factor related to developing cardiovascular diseases if they consumed oily fish. The results of this Chinese-Norwegian collaboration was presented at a Seafood and Health Seminar at the Norwegian EXPO pavilion in Shanghai on Wednesday.
Lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders and diabetes are growing health issues throughout the world, and both China and Norway are seeing an increase in problems of this kind among the population at large. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), correct nutrition and a healthy diet may be important ways of preventing diseases of this kind.
Several previous studies have established a link between the intake of seafood and positive health effects, including for the heart. While most of these studies have examined omega-3 supplements and not the seafood itself, some studies have focused on the effects of seafood on the health of the male heart, but almost no investigations of this kind have been carried out on women.
Reduced risk linked to oily fish
The results of the study showed a reduction of slightly more than 20% in the level of the fat triacylglyserol (TAG) in the blood of all of the groups which consumed oily fish like herring, farmed salmon and the Chinese oily fish called T.ovatus. A reduction in TAG of such magnitude means that the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is considerably reduced.
Study carried out on Chinese women
Women in the age group 45-65 with weak symptoms of cardiovascular disease took part in the study. The participants were divided into 4 groups; one which ate 400 g of herring per week, one which ate 400 g of farmed salmon per week, one which ate 400 g of a Chinese oily fish (T.ovatus.) per week, and a control group which ate 400 g of different meat products and some fresh-water fish per week. There were32-33 participants in each group, and the food used in the study was in portions of 80 g and given for lunch 5 days a week for 8 weeks.
In accordance with the male study
This was one of the first studies carried out to examine the effect of consuming seafood on the health of the female heart. The results of this female heart study are in conformity with a corresponding study carried out on middle-aged Chinese men in 2008. The participants in this study received farmed salmon for lunch in portions of 100g 5 times a week, which also resulted in a 20% reduction in the TAG level.
Seafood and health
Seafood in the diet is important for a good nutritional status and is thus potentially able to prevent different lifestyle diseases. Along with the study of middle-aged Chinese men, this study shows that it is possible to carry out intervention studies in order to document a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease developing among both men and women. Nevertheless, a more comprehensive study which includes both men and women is required to enable national and international expert panels to use the results in dietary advice.
The study related to Chinese women is part of a research colaboration between the Chinese Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety in China and NIFES. The study is financed largely by NIFES and the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, with a smaller contribution from the Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organisation for Pelagic Fish. The Norwegian Seafood Export Council has been responsible for technical implementation in China.